·  Media Release   ·  

Three Years After Rana Plaza, Bangladesh Factories Still Not Safe

TORONTO, 22 April 2016 – On the three-year anniversary of the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse, the United Steelworkers (USW) and other Canadian trade unions call for continued action to improve working conditions in the Bangladesh garment sector and to ensure garment workers are treated fairly and can work safety.

“The building repairs and corrective actions required by factory inspections are proceeding far too slowly. Bangladesh garment factories are still not safe,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.

The joint labour statement is based on the findings of a Canadian trade union delegation that visited Bangladesh in February 2016. The delegation included participation of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Unifor and the United Steelworkers (USW).

“I encourage Steelworkers members and trade union activists to participate in events on May 3, a global day of action demanding that Swedish-based retailer H&M keep its promises to make its Bangladesh supplier factories safe,” said Neumann. “We also need to pressure Canadian-based retailers and clothing brands to do the same.”

At their recent National Policy Conference in Montreal, USW delegates passed a resolution for stronger action by Canada to promote union rights, living wages and other protections for workers in Bangladesh and countries with similar conditions. The resolution also called for renewed pressure on Canadian retail brands to respect human rights throughout their supply chains.

A report on the findings of the 2016 Canadian labour delegation to Bangladesh is available on the USW website: www.usw.ca/rana-plaza-report-2016

The joint labour statement, Three Years after the Rana Plaza Collapse, is available on the CLC website in French and English: canadianlabour.ca/news/news-archive/rana-plaza-canadian-unions-calling-safer-work-conditions

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For further information:

Doug Olthuis, USW representative on the Labour Delegation to Bangladesh, 416-544-5957 or 416-859-9953, dolthuis@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966 or 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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